If you’re not watching “The League,” or at the very least, if you don’t have the show in your Instant Netflix queue yet, then you don’t get to sit at the cool kids table. “It’s Always Sunny” and “Archer” tend to get most of the Internet attention when it comes to F/X shows, but it’s “The League” that — in its third season, at least — is the most consistently funny. It’s like an ensemble version of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” that just happens to revolve around a fantasy football league, though the premise is tertiary to the actual shenanigans. Also, never take fantasy football advice from anyone on the show. They’re is some kind of pansy 8-person league where everybody’s team is stacked with studs, and it’s a snake draft. Snake drafts are for amateurs.
Anyway, it’s an awesome show, which has featured guests appearances this season alone from Jeff Goldblum, Sarah Silverman, and Seth Rogen. And F/X yesterday had the good sense to renew show for another season, which means more Nick Kroll, and Nick Kroll is responsible for 30 percent of the sun’s power. FACT. And after the jump, I’m going to throw seven more “The League” connections at you that might just blow your mind.
1. Katie Aselton and Mark Duplass Are Married in Real Life: OK. This may not actually come as a shock to many of you. But, did you know that Aselton and Duplass are two of the most prominent members of the mumblecore movement in film? Mumblecore is a terrible, misleading name for an awesome independent genre of film: It’s basically improvised high concept films, and Mark and his brother, Jay, are kind of the Kings of Mumblecore (along with Lynn Shelton, who is like The Queen).
2. Katie Aselton is a Former Beauty Queen: Aselton is actually from my neck of the woods (Maine), and in 1995, she was Miss Teen Maine, as well as first runner up in Miss Teen America. She also attended Boston University, which is where I went to law school, but we never crossed paths, even though we were there around the same time. Otherwise, OBVIOUSLY we’d be married now and I’d be the star of “The League” and we’d have the cutest kids on the planet. Aselton also wrote, directed, and starred in a phenomenal mumblecore film with Dax Shepard called The Freebie, about a married couple who decide to give themselves one night away from marriage. Disaster ensues. It’s more heartbreaking than funny.
3. Mark Duplass: The Film Star: Most people know Duplass from “The League,” but in the indie film world, he’s kind of a big deal. He’s like the Brad Pitt of the SXSW Film Festival. Last year, he and his brother wrote and directed a movie called Cyrus, which starred Jonah Hill as a guy who had kind of a sexual obsession with his Mom, played by Marisa Tomei. It’s good, but very uncomfortable. But, my favorite Duplass film is Humpday, in which he stars with Joshua Leonard — that guy from Blair Witch Project — as two very straight best friends who decide, on a dare, to make a gay porn film together. All of these things are on Netflix Instant. Do yourself a favor and find them.
4. Nick Kroll: Everyone loves Nick Kroll thanks to the awesome character of Ruxin on “The League,” and because of an excellent turn on “Community” a couple of weeks ago. I have mixed feeling about Kroll, however, for two reasons: 1) He stole Joshua Malina’s role in the television world and I love Joshua Malina and 2) because Nick Kroll starred in seriously one of the worst sitcoms of the last decade, “Cavemen,” which was based on those annoying Geico commercials.
5. Jeff Schaffer: There’s a reason that “The League” is so similar in structure to “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” The creator, Jeff Schaffer, was also a writer/producer/director on “Curb,” as well as “Seinfeld.” He also wrote the screenplay for Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat (which “Seinfeld” producer/writer Larry Charles directed), as well as the screenplays for Eurotrip and, of all things, The Cat in the Hat
6. Paul Scheer: Many of you probably knew Paul Scheer before “The League” as a member of the sketch comedy troupe “The Upright Citizens Brigade,” as well as his role as a creator/writer/star of “The Human Giant,” and as a writer of a couple of episodes of the brilliant Adult Swim series, “Children’s Hospital.” But, did you know that he’s also a regular on the children’s show, “Yo Gabba Gabba”? He and Jack McBrayer (from “30 Rock”) do regular “Knock Knock Joke” segments. The pop-culture connections on “Yo Gabba Gabba” are astounding, and probably deserve a separate post at some point.
7. Jonathan Lajoie: Jonathan Lajoie, who plays Taco, basically got discovered from YouTube videos, where he gained fame playing his own songs and making music videos, like the above video for “High as F**k.” Check it out; it’s hilarious.